May 8, 2006

Peres: "Iran Can Also Be Wiped Off the Map"

(Tel Aviv) Israeli Vice Premier Shimon Peres took a shot at Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today, saying that "the president of Iran should remember that Iran can also be wiped off the map."

The comment was a reference to a similar statement made by Ahmadinejad that has been translated by some as a direct threat to obliterate Israel. Other scholars, such as Juan Cole, believe that a more correct translation would be something along the lines of "the occupation regime over Jerusalem must be erased from the page of time."

Peres blasted the Iranian government for its position on its uranium enrighment program and its hard-line stance.

"Tehran is making a mockery of the international community's efforts to solve the crisis surrounding Iran's nuclear program," said Peres. "Iran presents a danger to the entire world, not just to us."

The timing of the remarks by Peres is puzzling, as it comes on the day that an Iranian official announced that Ahmadinejad had written to US President George W. Bush in an attempt to reduce tensions between the two countries.

Peres warned that a nuclear arms race will escalate if Iran produces nuclear weapons.

"If Iran becomes nuclear many other countries will follow suit," he said. "Whoever will have a conflict will produce a bomb, and finally some bombs will reach the hands of terror."

Peres, however, did not mention his own country's clandestine nuclear program, nor of its own refusal to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. By some estimates Israel may have as many as 100 nuclear warheads in its arsenal.


Anonymous said...

Typical Israeli hypocrisy, Mike. Did you expect any different?

historymike said...


I don't go into this discussion with any preconceptions about "typical" Israeli behavior, anonymous.

I do find it odd that Peres would choose this day to make this blistering retort.

Why today? What are the Israelis trying to communicate through this ploy?

Are they worried that the fever pitch of anti-Iranian rhetoric might die down if the US is allowed to consider that Ahmadinejad is sincere in his letter, even for a moment?

That's what the conspiracy theorist in me thinks might be happening.

Or is it just a case of bad timing on the part of Peres?

-Sepp said...

One should think about Isreal's position. The country is surrounded by hostile countries on every border that have attacked it en mass in the past. The difference between Isreal losing a war and any other country is that Isreal won't be occupied in order to change it's regime, it will be invaded purely for it's neighbors to commit genocide. That said, Isreal cannot afford to lose 1 war. A point that is often missed is that Iran realisticly couldn't nuke Isreal if it wanted to. Point being that doing it to give Palestine back to the palestinians would be pointless since the radiological contamination would prevent it from being anyone's homeland. Second, Iran knows there would be rataliatory nuclear strikes which would negate any benefit they thought they gained from nuking Isreal. IMHO, I don't think they need to be enriching any uranium for nuclear fuel or otherwise. MOX reactor fuel is being made from former soviet warheads to fuel reactors. MOX fuel is also cheaper than anything the iranians could produce from their own centrifuge.

Newsguy said...

Oh great. Now we have a couple of Middle Eastern countries waving their nuclear penises at each other. I tell ya, I have little hope for the survival of mankind if this kind of thing is allowed to continue. Once the nukes start flying, the whole species will eventually die of a direct hit or fire or radiation cancer.

Looks like the species is just smart enough to unlock the nuclear secrets and just dumb enough to use them.

Stephanie said...

"Are they worried that the fever pitch of anti-Iranian rhetoric might die down if the US is allowed to consider that Ahmadinejad is sincere in his letter, even for a moment?"

That would be my suspicion, Mike.

On a side note..
Ick! Word verification's back!?!

liberal_dem said...

Let's see. Has anybody been keeping score?

I believe Bush's pitching record is 0-5. But, don't despair. The rookie has 3 more years yet on the mound.

Miracles can happen.

Lisa Renee said...

New article that has some interesting points.

M A F said...

Sorry, missed this one. Well Mike, this is exactly what I have commented upon before in discussing the comments of Ahmadinejad wiping out Israel. (Of course he is just the front man, the mullahs are the real decision makers.) When Israel makes its comments there is little concern and even less of a response of this administration (previous admininstrations).

Hooda Thunkit said...

"By some estimates Israel may have as many as 100 nuclear warheads in its arsenal."

More than enough to turn Iran, or its'significant parts, into a sea of glass for thousands of years to come.

Not the kind of neighbors (either country) I'd be inviting over for a cook-out and some brewskis...

historymike said...

I had to bring back WV, Stephanie, as some spam-bot (or a spammer with WAY too much time on his hands) was flooding my site with 30 spam comments a day.

historymike said...

Agreed about the mullahs running the show and the Tel Aviv love fest that goes on in DC.

While I am a "two-state solution" kind of person, I don't think that the Israelis should have carte blanche to run roughshod over their neighbors.

historymike said...

Thanks for the link, Lisa. That was a thought-provoking article.

A small addition to the points the author made:

US politicians are very cautious about opposing the pro-Israel lobby in the US and the hardliners in Tel Aviv for fear of being labeled "Anti-Semites."

historymike said...

Agreed, Hooda.

I would say that the Iranians have a hell of a lot more to fear from Israel than vice versa.

uptheflag said...

Factually, from what has been released re the letter from Ahmadinejad is not sincere. In any event, Peres does maintain a position that I have, that is, that a nuclear weapon in Iran will cause a proliferation of nuclear weapons in the other Middle East kingdoms.I come to this conclusion as Iran is not Arab; it is Persian.
Arabs don't like Persians. The history of that area is one of conquest by the Persians of Arab land. It seems, therefore, that if
Iran should have a nuclear weapon,
which is about 10 years away, a Middle East nuclear arms race is a high possibility. The Saudis for sure would move in that direction.
Peres is correct in that statement.

As an aside: I wonder what the Iraquis and the the other arab nations think about the fact that the bullets fired from American guns are made by Israel...Yep, they are being shot with Isreali bullets.
Another quick point is: are you aware that President Truman sent
Barnard Beruch to the United Nations in the late '40s and offered to give all of our nuclear weapons to the UN? If the UN would have accepted, nulear arms races and proliferation may have never occurred.